Yellow Prickly-Poppy, Prickly Poppy, Birds In The Bush, Mexican Prickly Poppy, Devil's Fig, Flowerin

Argemone mexicana

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Argemone (AR-ge-mon-ee) (Info)
Species: mexicana (meks-sih-KAY-nuh) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall





Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Scarify seed before sowing

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sunland, California

Hollywood, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Roswell, New Mexico

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 23, 2009, Ian01 from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil wrote:

Beautiful plant, but very prickly (leaves included), difficult to handle, don't tolerate root disturbance. Erratic germination (after 1 year in natural conditions). The plant decays and die after blooming and set seeds.


On Aug 31, 2008, green_dragon from Trumbull, CT wrote:

This is a plant that not only produces a large number of seeds but they are easy to sprout as well. The seeds are about twice the size of regular poppy seeds. Scatter these on a flowerbed during the spring, sprouts in a week or two at most. Will become more woody in late season. Collect seed when pod is ripe.
Prefers lighter, sandier soil.
Native to Mexico and Southwest US. May be year round grower there in warm climate.
Plant has medicinal and shamanistic history among Aztec.
Do not eat seeds! They contain 2 toxic alkaloids.
Sanguinarine and Dihydrosanguinarine.
Strictly for flower show.


On Feb 29, 2008, lynneus from Muncie, IN wrote:

I found this plant growing along a fence/sidewalk (in gravely soil) on the outskirts of campus at ITESM (Tec) in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The flower is wonderful!


On Nov 29, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Yellow Prickly-Poppy Argemone mexicana is native to Texas and other States.


On May 8, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

A drought tolerant annual with blue-green spiny foliage variegated with white. Leaves provide stark contrast to for large (2-2.5"), fragile, sweetly scented flowers that range in color from lemon yellow to light orange. Sap is bright yellow. Considered half-hardy and likes full sun and well-drained soil. Prickly poppy grows paricularly well in hot climates.